In this video the CBC Marketplace team purchased several types of masks, from athletic gaiter style masks to simple surgical masks and brought them to the University of Toronto to test them. The testing was similar to the N95 testing process in order to find which masks were most effective. They found that gaiter style and bandana masks provided the least amount of protection because they are typically single layer and made from breathable fabrics designed to let more air flow through. Vent style masks similarly let air just pour through the closed vents as though there was no barrier at all.
The mask winners were found to be the disposable surgical masks as well as masks made of multiple layers or with high thread counts.
The multiple layers slowed down particles by going through more layers of fabric while a higher thread count creates a maze further slowing them down. The researchers also pointed out that fit is king in protection, if your glasses fog up, then you need to adjust your mask to fit properly. Tighten your fit with a hair scrunchie and relieve pressure on your ears while you look for a mask with a better fit.